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Everything posted by afterbanns

  1. UPDATE Well the boy has been on Apoquel for nearly a fortnight now. Smell has dissipated mostly. Yeasty build ups have gone, though a dandruff like powder still hangs about in places. Mainly around neck. He enjoys a good stiff brush of this twice a day (as well as rest of body) to shift it. Interest in food still good - or increased Scratching mostly gone though as it is 'wearing off' it comes back. No feet chewing, reduced licking Coat seems fine - thick and soft not greasy Goopy eye is better but not completely gone. I have been advised by vet that this is an allergy issue so no point to use anything on it except a saline solution. I think between the Apoquel and the saline it is improving but not sure it wouldn't benefit from something else. One thing he does after each dose is run around like a mad thing, trying to rub his head on anything he can find looking slightly distressed. I calm him down by brushing his snout and neck and the like, but I am not sure he is actually itchy, rather feeling a bit spun out from the tablet. He cuddles up really close and I noticed today he was shaking a bit. I have read about this reaction and while it is not common it does happen without explanation. I have reduced the dosage sooner than advised by the vet due to this last issue. I am not sure I will continue on with it for much longer but gradually reduce the dose to nothing. As you will notice, things have 'mostly' cleared up and he has been on it almost a fortnight. Out of the prednisone, cytopoint and apoquel and in the absence of cytopoint being effective any longer, I think short courses in prednisone are the most effective on my boy unless there is something else I will be referred to in the future. I will post an update after I have spoken to the University Vet in a few weeks. thanks for you all your insights here.
  2. Thanks for your advice there. I looked up Dr Peter Hill and he looks impressive. I will be trying to make the appointment for our boy at Uni Vets for when we get there in a couple of weeks. (we have not moved into new house yet, but am assuming I will need to book as far in advance as possible) In relation to raw food diet, I would be happy to feed my dog raw food but I really think one should get guidance for amounts, types etc from a vet. Unfortunately, the vets I speak to will not even entertain raw food diets and wont help. I have even been referred to a 'chilled' loaf which is purchasable at the pet store (not even prescription diet) supposedly for dogs with allergies rather than discuss raw food...by a vet . I know I could go off and probably do it myself with all this literature around but as the prescription diet was the one thing he thrived on and as he has all these issues, I really am nervous about sorting it myself. Its just these flare ups that pop up and are getting harder to manage that is causing great concern. Really putting a lot of hope on the Uni Vets here. I remember when I was a kid, we had a fox terrier and she never got bought food from the shop (this was going back to the 1960s so not sure how much store bought food for dogs there was) she got the scraps off our plates that was home cooked and grown vegies and meats bought from the butcher. Was energetic, happy and healthy all her life and lived to a grand old age. There definitely is an industry now to perhaps make our dogs unwell or dependent on things that might not be ideal and a lot of owners running around scratching their heads on how to fix them and spending $.
  3. No, he has had no tests whatsover despite being around specialists, and vets for the same issues repeatedly. I have asked but get fobbed off. Hoping the Uni Vets might help a bit more proactively. Since on the Apoquel, things have improved quite well - though not entirely. Mood is much better, I must say. Thyroid underactivity could account for his general low mood, I imagine though.
  4. Thanks for that, I was wondering which campus. Gatton is actually really good for me. Thanks for the info re those remedies. Yes, transitioning to something more natural would be helpful. Just wondering if stress is a factor in all this. Household got a bit going on. Hopefully that will quiet down soon after we move and that could help...
  5. Ah, thanks for that. This lot were in Brisbane but on the the north side and not associated with the University as far as I could see. We are moving closer to Brisbane, so it might be worth checking them out. Did you have to get a referral or anything?
  6. Thanks for that. I know it is so soul destroying. I did go to a specialist but it really was a waste of time from my POV. I came out none the wiser than when I went in, no tests or skin patches taken etc. Perhaps you know of a good one, but I could really see no difference from going to the specialist to going to a vet. Except the specialist centre carpark was full of a lot more expensive cars than the vets Yep, I suppose in the end you have to weigh up quality of life against the pitfalls of the drugs used to 'help' them. Understanding that there is no 'cure' only management can be a bit hard too deal with as well. Good luck with your little one.
  7. Hello all, I am hoping to hear from anyone who has used Apoquel for any length of time mainly in relation to its success or otherwise and side-effects etc. I know there is a lot of bad press for it on the internet but I was hoping to hear from an actual user of the product and hear their experiences/opinions etc. I have a 7 year old German Shepherd who suffers terribly from skin allergies/irritations. He eats science diet and hypoallergenic foods and while he appeared to have had digestive issues in the past (and at the same time as skin irritations ), that side of things has calmed down and been eliminated almost completely. His symptoms are scratching, chewing at himself, crusty bits here and there and fur thinning in parts, goopy eyes, ear irritations and VERY SMELLY. Mood is low and seems to lack energy or much interest when things are bad. Prefers to stay inside in the cool as I assume the heat irritates him. In other parts his fur is thick and in good condition, he is a good weight and is interested in his food and eats well. He has been unwell with this off and on for a couple of years now. It has been worse in the area we are currently living which has midges and is very humid. We are about to move to a more temperate (still sub-tropical) climate away from the coast a bit so hopefully that may help. In the past we have used Prednisone and this is very effective at dealing with the symptoms and clearing things up quickly, but of course we are told we cannot have our animals on this long term. We then moved to the Cytopoint injection which was brilliant at first and then not so effective. The last injection was increased in dosage to account for his size and that did nothing at all. We have now been given Apoquel. His initial dose will be 24mg for two weeks, dropping back to 16mg per day and then basically forever, increasing the dose temporarily should a flare up occur. Within 10 hours he stopped scratching and the smell has dissipated somewhat. He is in a much better mood and has been running around outside this morning. He has just now started to paw at his nose and eyes so perhaps it is wearing off, but will try and wait a bit closer to the time he had it yesterday to give him today's dose. If anyone would like to share their actual experiences with Apoquel, I would be grateful. Thank you.
  8. Hello, regular contributors may remember our 'plight' with a very full on GSD boy puppy and the slight feelings of desperation and hopelessness that engulfed us as we struggled with what appeared to be very aggressive behaviour. The topic has been closed now as it has been some time since I wrote, but I thought, as we approach his second birthday, it was the right thing to do to let anyone interested, how things ended up. Well right now as I write, he is sitting at my feet. He has not chewed, barked, growled, jumped, corralled me nor stolen anything and chewed on it or ruined any furniture - soft or otherwise - for ...well I cannot remember. He and I now actually have a relationship and I KNOW he really likes me - quite a lot, but I can sense he knows his place with me and displays affection appropriately - well most of the time. He is good with visitors, but I keep an eye on him and check him the minute he does something slightly dodgy like jump or nibble. He has a lovely kindness about him and a sense of humour - I never would have thought it possible. He doesn't appear to be too fearful of much, though is wary of things he does not understand eg the leaf blower or the vacuum, however he does not back down but keeps his distance and an eye on it. I accidentally stepped on him this morning but he did not fuss - and neither did I; he really should not have been standing there, crowding at the door. We both got on with it without a fuss. He is never food, bone or toy aggressive. He will wait until I am away from his food dish before he approaches it himself. He likes other dogs and if off leash plays well and tempers his strength depending on the size of the dog. We worked with a few trainers and all assisted but we found the most success was with the one who was able to do some assessment of his personality: he was very dominant but also passive, so basically he was very, very strongly driven to be on top of everyone and everything and would bully his way through as he had learned that worked as it was the last thing I had expected. However, he was not necessarily aggressive - which was a relief. Tactics used were tried and true: desexed at 6 months, use a HALTI, feed him last, NEVER allowed on any furniture eg lounges/beds etc - even now, pull him up at doorways and gates etc - no charging through first etc. And of course, the main thing was to let him know who is boss, which was really quite easy: ignore him, not make a fuss, not respond to his fuss - no matter how difficult it was to ignore him. Once he was calmed and moved away THEN I could make a fuss of him and by that it is a nice pat, lots of praise, a treat, depending on what had gone on. If he brings a toy, ignore. I decide when a game starts and finishes. I think also I had completely emptied myself of any confidence I had. The final straw was when he pulled me over and I required surgery to fix what had been broken. I knew then that there was no where else to go but up and just stopped worrying about what to do and just started doing it. Sounds easy now...anyway, just kept working on things one by one, day after day and now when I look at him I am so proud of both of us. Eats a combo of grain free dry food diet and raw food. NO human food as snacks etc. (well rarely) Not sure if this is something which is helping his behaviour but has helped scratching. Things are not perfect by any means: Problems we still have are and are working on to varying levels of success: Dog aggressive when on leash - not sure why this started but it did one day and continues. Off leash he is a friendly, fun dog to other dogs. I currently walk him on leash at night/middle of the day when chances of running into other dogs are minimal. He spends one day a week at the kennel we have used since we got him and in a controlled environment he off leash plays with lots of other dogs - well and without incident. We have a mobile vet so he can get care without freaking other dogs and their owners out at the vets. I can hold him as he really is all bluff and just jumps up and down and barks and he has a halti on, but other people are not sure. I am not into frightening people. We have moved to a bigger house with bigger yard for him to run. Still a bit obsessed with cars, though easily distracted. It is more of a joyful, welcoming behaviour than aggression but a good yank on halti and "LEAVE" command has some effect. He is kept well away from roads. mmm...the cat. NO progress there and they are kept well separated. The cat lives upstairs and is fed before the boy and he is not allowed on the steps up to the cat's room. Not sure if he is a bit TOO protective. I try not to let him sit at the door or gate during the day too much but if someone comes to the door he certainly lets them know he is there - pretty scary. Once people are in, he is ok under supervision. I hope that if anyone is having trouble with their young GSD this helps. Tomorrow is always a new day to start again...:)
  9. We have actually had two trainers, the first came and sorted him out immediately with the aggression and pushiness and the one we have now is working through the remnants of this and everything else. Our first trainer suggested that we tie something smelling of the cat to the dog's collar and vis versa. As we have been working through everything else we had put the fact that they didn't get on low on the priority list until this incident and just vigilantly kept them separated. The cat now comes upstairs (inside) and appears to be tormenting the dog by sitting or standing where he can be seen and the dog goes nuts on the other side of the door. Yes, it does seem like a mad house around here, sometimes. I am thinking that the issue has gone way past the solution of tying things to respective collars. Will revisit this problem in the next session with the trainer.
  10. Thanks, Raineth. I must say that at the end of today, am feeling a little down as there seems to be a lot of work for little gain. The most important thing for me at this stage is that his aggression is manageable and I am no longer frightened of him. He was so naughty this afternoon, I was talking to my neighbour and he started to bark. I attempted to chastise him and then he started getting really bossy and barking and snapping and herding me into the corner of the yard. Fortunately, my neighbour saw the funny side and said she thought he was wanting me to play with him. I had to explain that he was trying to interrupt our conversation and make it all about him and be the boss of me - which I guess in a way is a game to him! I managed to restrain him and make him sit at my feet, all while ignoring him and not rising to the bait. He calmed down. Oh, the mind games! On a positive note, I had a friend over today for a few hours and while he was very excited when she first arrived, he calmed down and behaved well ie no barking and hanging about the door carrying on. I will talk to the trainer about relationship building with him because I think that is what is missing here. The only time I really feel he is having a great time with me and lets me know is when he is off leash. But unfortunately we are not really at that stage where I can do that confidently as he is still a bit of a loose cannon.
  11. UPDATE THREE I know it has been a while but I thought I would let all who were interested know of our progress. I believe I have managed to attach some photos as well. One was taken today and the other was when he was about 9 weeks old. As you will see, he knows what the camera is all about. He is quite funny with this, he will sit and have his photo taken and then come up to me sniffing the phone until I 'show' him his photo. Well I feel a lot more knowledgeable now and if only one could turn back time, I would go back to the very first minute our little boy arrived home. He managed to wrap me around his paw right from that first second - but live and learn. Biting: has mostly stopped. He still has a nip - but I pull him up IMMEDIATELY so it is slowly diminishing. I have to say here that I have always been able to do things like touch his food, remove his food, touch his toys and bones and touch him while he is eating and he has never displayed any aggression. He came 'programmed' to sit back until his food was put down before moving towards it and does so in a calm manner and eats/chews slowly. I never actually taught him to do that, he just did it from early on. He now actually waits until I go back inside before he approaches his food. Again, I never actually taught him to do that but we have always rewarded him with verbal praise when he did it. Aggressive behaviour: rounding up/snapping/snarling. I can advise that this has gone by 99.9% He tried it on the other night. I was bringing some clean washing inside and he decided to jump up and try and remove one of the garments from the basket. I asked him not to but must have let the "tough" guard down for a minute and he came at me snapping and snarling and doing his funny yelping bark. I just marched at him and he immediately stopped, with a look like "oops, I forgot". Now he seems to just save that behaviour for things like the garden rake or spade. Walking on lead: still a tough one but slowly getting there, very slowly getting there. He understands heel on leash, and will do it with treat and reward and will do it for a while without a treat but if distracted, will pull again. Sit: excellent, no problem, will do it even if a bit distracted or 'on edge' Stay: we are working on just using the sit command for this and it is working well. I tether him now and again eg when out walking and need to clean up his business, I attach him to the nearest tree. It is much safer than trusting him not to do something which may lead me to "stinky poo fingers" He is very good and sits and waits patiently. Also do that around the yard when I am trying to get something done without him sticking his nose in. Also, if he is going a bit crazy about the bush turkeys or the like, to calm him down. Down: very good, no problems Come on command: depends, still a bit shaky when he is off leash Barking: still having trouble with bush turkeys and neighbours driveway and people at side fences. I am 'camping' out in the backyard morning and afternoon during the relevant times and doing his "training" homework or playing ball so as to distract him. Making small progress. Mornings are pretty much incident free but afternoons he is very hyper. Sleeping: don't hear a peep all night. take him out at the crack of dawn for piddle. goes back in until it is safe to let him out in case he barks. he does not sleep during the day at all Eating: no problems Other dogs: sometimes is a bit "in your face" with them (bigger dogs) and other times is able just to "hang about" without too much interaction. Have decided the dog parks are not for us. He got bitten and lost some hair last time as he was being a bit too curious with another dog who appeared to be ok but obviously wasn't. He likes smaller dogs and is very gentle with them. He was desexed about a month ago. Major concern at present: he hates the cat and I am not sure what he would do if he got hold of him. There was an incident a few weeks ago where he got into the house somehow (think a door was left open) and came running downstairs to where the cat was. It all happened so quickly I did not see but according to my husband he managed to get hold of the cat and some fur was flying. I got hold of him and the cat took off. I keep them separated but there could always be an accident where the door is left open. This worries me greatly. He is certainly not aggressive like this towards adults or children or other dogs. Just the cat and bush turkeys. What I have discovered is that he really hates being told what to do by me. I have finally got him to "drop the ball" when we play fetch but initially he "spat it out" at me. It is definitely a constant battle to be the boss of him! The main thing is that I do feel like I AM the boss now and even though I know certain situations may lead to his trying to have a nibble on me I am not frightened. Sometimes when I chastise him by pulling his collar he will snap and look away and have a grumble but falls into line. I guess I am feeling that he doesn't like me very much but at this stage, I guess it is not about that and again, I guess what he is understanding that I am the boss and is respecting me more which is actually what a dog does to say he "likes" someone, maybe? I am worn out, I have to say. My day revolves around him and I get little else done, though do try to. Is that normal? At the end of the day, I am exhausted and he seems to be more hyped up than ever. We have a trainer coming in once a fortnight and helping with correcting walking issues, dealing with distractions and other issues which crop up. What I have learned from her is that we need to be patient and let him learn at his own pace. He is only 7.5 months old, but being a big dog it is easy to expect too much too soon. I have no doubt that he is a very smart dog and as Tassie says above, he will probably never be an absolute angel. But he has a great sense of humour and a taste for the mischievous AND is very handsome - a proverbial 'bad boy' perhaps :) . I am also aware that he would LOVE a day job but he is stuck with me. Again, thank you for all your lovely and kind and helpful words. I will continue to post, if that is ok. It helps me heaps. :D
  12. UPDATE TWO! Hello! Well what a day - a wonderful day! The trainer came and within about 5 minutes she had the wee brute under control using a thoroughly calm and assertive manner AND most importantly, I was able to do it. She corrected all the small mistakes we had made and gave basic, simple and common sense guidelines for moving forward. It is like I have a different dog! AND HE seems a lot more relaxed and happy, once he settles. It would seem that the poor boy has some anxiety - born with it, it would appear. So the problems with aggression ie biting and the like seem almost licked, destroying furniture completely licked. The other things like barking at the fenceline at people in their yards, well a strategy is in place and so far so good, but more practice needed. The car issue, almost there. The problem was of course, of his climbing to the top of the pack and my letting him, even though I though I was trying not to. I have also just returned from a "adolescent puppy" class - the first of four. Tonite we worked on lead walking and the boy was on a special high collar with a snout collar and double lead. I FINALLY had control. He pulled me over the other day while we were out walking and as he is strong and continues to grow stronger it was inevitable that it was going to happen again. So tonite was wonderful, I am looking forward to taking him out again with his new collar tomorrow and his meeting other dogs without pulling me so hard that I feel my arms will fall off. The puppies did a bit of socialising and it was very good. All the dogs were around the same age, mainly large breeds and with the same issues. For the first time, I really didn't feel like I was the only one with these issues. The last couple of weeks have seemed very bleak, but now I feel like a weight is gone and we can move forward with a great dog to share our lives with Thank you to everyone for being so kind! I will post another update once we have finished the course!
  13. UPDATE Thank you to all for your responses and invaluable information. We have FINALLY managed to engage a trainer. I do live in Queensland, but regionally. I have left messages and sent emails with as much detailed information as possible and no one but one has responded. Unfortunately, like all reputable trainers she is very busy and we will have to wait a week or so to see her but at least help is on the way. Her initial feelings from the information I have given her is quite interesting but sobering. Anyway, she wont get a firm idea until she meets us all next week and her work can commence. In the meantime, the aggression comes and goes - mainly in the morning and evening but during the day he is fine. I am noticing that he is getting a lot more jumpy than usual. Anyway, we will keep trying to keep him calm until help arrives. BTW, in answer to a previous post recommending that we don't exercise him too much, the 'walks' we do, are really just strolls with lost of 'stopping to smell the roses' so to speak and to get used to different things like pushbikes, children, other people, boats, kyaks, jet skis and pelicans going past not to mention the odd blue tong lizard - there is no hard exercise. I could not deny him, he really loves these outings too much and it is the one time of day when we really enjoy each other's company :) We do play 'mind' games out in the backyard and verandah along with ball games etc. I just wish he could talk human speak or I could thoroughly understand dog talk! Will keep you updated. Thanks again.
  14. Thank you for your replies and the wealth of information you have shared from obvious experience. I am really grateful! The stuff about marking with piddle really made sense and the comment that your dog would get cranky just for being ASKED if he had piddled really rang true for me. My boy always gets a 'look' on his face - like a sullen teenage human - when he is asked to stop doing something EXCEPT when he is out and about, then he is very good. To update, last night I kept him out of the bedroom and left him with the new larger and improved Kong that he has graduated to. He wanted to come in this morning and scratched at the door but I did not let him in. Instead, I opened the door and went out when I was ready - calmly and without fear :) I did not speak to him and pretended to be preoccupied with something else. He then jumped up and I calmly 'removed' him without looking at him and went on my way. I was aware that he tried a very half-hearted snap at my feet but I just ignored it and he seemed to loose interest. I then had to clean up his latest work of art (aka piddle and poo in the house) while he went outside. All done calmly and without comment. He was then given his breakfast while I had a bit of a chat with him. I know these are small steps compared to the strategies that need to be taken but I was happy with myself that I had at least stayed calm and did not display or feel apprehension. re his coming from working dog line, I don't think so, but he has come from a line of successful show dogs both here and in Germany? We met his parents and a couple of other 'relatives' and they are all majestic dogs to be in awe of. Yes, I do think he would love a 'day job' but not prepared to give up on him just yet :) It was very nice to hear echoed what I believe: that he is really a special and clever boy. Thank you for the names of the trainers you recommend. I will look them up and see how I go. And will abandon idea of a dog walker - makes sense what you suggest there. He loves balls, of course and also hide and seek type games so will do that. I am not feeling confident about using the balls for distraction from cars. It usually takes all my strength and concentration to keep him with me when they go past (or overhead as they did yesterday on a walk the involved walking under an overhead bridge) But a professional will be able to help me with that. Thank you for the tips about exercise, I was beating myself up for not being able to walk him and play with him for ten hours a day, seems it wouldn't help anyway! Honestly, I didn't sleep a wink last night worrying about all of this, so getting your response this morning has really made me feel better! Thank you once again! g
  15. Hello to all, My husband and I have a German Shepherd male pup who is 5 and a half months old. We are having some rather major issues with aggression at the moment and am seeking feedback if someone would be so kind. I feel quite silly as I have realised my errors which may be responsible for some of the problem, but at the same time there are some issues I am at a loss to explain. My apologies for the length but I wish to give the ENTIRE picture so an informed response can be made. I am feeling quite desperate, at the very least because my whole life seems to be revolving around the puppy at the moment. To start off, we got him from a reputable breeder who we had been talking to some 12 months before we brought him home at about 8 weeks or so. My husband works from home and I am around the house most of the time. He is never left alone apart from a few hours on the weekend. We keep him inside for that time. He waits by the front door until we return from what we can see. He was housetrained very quickly and sleeps quietly all night without movement. He is not really a barker, though will bark if there is movement around the fenceline. He has even learned not to bark too early in the morning but at a reasonable hour does let out a few loud barks. He eats well, twice a day. He is big for his age. From the first few days we had him, he was sitting for me and lying low and would basically come when he was called. The main problem is that he is quite agressive towards me. He does 'mouth' my husband but I can see that he is playing, rightly or wrongly. With me, I feel there is no play and he is really trying to make a point. It usually happens when I try to tell him to 'stop' doing something. He will snap at me, I will again try to firmly tell him to 'stop' and that is when he starts to bark, growl and to my shame, he manages to corner me/round me up. I am also sorry to say that I have become quite frightened and I have to call for my hubbie who has to come running to rescue me. As soon as my husband appears, the behaviour stops. If I am alone and cannot be 'assisted' I just manage to get hold of him and put him outside of wherever we are. I have tried turning my back and ignoring him, but with little success, though I will try working harder on that. I have taken to walking him on lead and letting him run off leash at the beach for about two or so hours each day. He absolutley loves this and he always keeps me in his sights when off leash and comes when called. He knows that the car will not be reversed out of the garage until he is sitting down quietly and that he is to stay that way for the trip. He is very affectionate when we get in the car to go and get in the car to come home with lots of kisses. Whenever I give him treats, he ALWAYS behaves and basically does what is asked of him. The problem is that I dont have treats on me 24/7 so when he plays up they are not at hand. THe other problem is that in my attempts to use up his enegery with all the walking, outside play etc., it is taking up huge slabs of time every day and yet still does not use up all his energy and stop the aggression. I understood that a German Shepherd would need lots of exercise, but it would seem that I could spend 7 or 8 hours a day with this little fellow and it would still not be enough to wear him out. Another dangerous and confounding problem is that he is fascinated with cars and when they are going past while I am walking him he trys to run along with them or AT them. I have tried a few different strategies with little success, so now just soldier on, keeping him on a short leash and ignoring his carry on and the car, hoping that eventually he will stop being fascinated by them. Tonight was especially unpleasant as I tried to pat him and he snapped at my hand. I was able to walk away from him and ignore him for a while. Later, when I managed to get him back inside as it was time to come in, he was quite cranky and came in and piddled on the floor! While I tried to clean it up, he started pulling at the cloth and of course when I tried to 'stop' him, he started his agressive behaviour again. Again, I had to be 'rescued' I am going to undertake the following strategy: 1. Take him to the vet tomorrow to have him checked over in case it is a physical health issue 2. Ramp up the work with treats (though I am not sure how much more I can do) 3. Approach a trainer to see if they can assist 4. I unfortunately allowed him to choose when he would no longer sleep in his crate at night and he decided that he was going to sleep beside me on the floor beside the bed (long story associated with some reno work we had done in the ensuite) We thought he was being protective/cute but realised that it was a big mistake and a bit of this agression could be associated with his trying to dominate further. I am hoping to get him to sleep back in the crate and not in the bedroom or surrounds. 5. We also unfortunately gave him run of the house except for a few rooms which are always closed off to him. This has resulted in him doing some silly things like trying to sit on the couch etc. I am hoping to further restrict the areas he has access to so we can have the house back again ie put cushions back on chairs etc. 6. Enlist the help of a dog walker to walk him a day or two a week so I can get some other things done around the house. Again, I am so sorry for the long winded post, but really would appreciate any feedback/assistance anyone could provide. Thank you
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